Three days after a judge rejected Kari Lake’s election challenge in the Arizona race for governor, a judge in Maricopa County has ordered her to compensate her opponent, Katie Hobbs, in her capacity as governor-elect and outgoing secretary of state but stopped short of sanctioning Lake for filing the lawsuit.
In the ruling issued Tuesday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson ordered Lake to pay Hobbs $33,040.50 in compensation for expert witness fees. Thompson’s ruling ended by reaffirming the election of Katie Hobbs as the state’s next governor.
The initial Christmas Eve court ruling was a major defeat for Lake, who lost to Hobbs by about 17,000 votes in November and sued in an effort to overturn the election.
In a two-day trial, Thompson ruled that “experts who testified in support of Lake provided analysis that does not nearly approach the degree of precision… needed to conclude that the election results were tainted.”
There had been printer malfunctions, but Thompson ruled “every single witness before the Court disclaimed any personal knowledge of such misconduct. The Court cannot accept speculation or conjecture in place of clear and convincing evidence.”
Attorneys for Hobbs charged that Lake and her lawyers knew their challenges to the election could not be substantiated. That would violate legal ethic rules and they wanted sanctions against the Republican candidate and her team.
In his ruling, Thompson did not agree, noting that Hobbs’ attorney didn’t prove that Lake’s claims were “groundless and presented in bad faith … no matter how strongly felt.”
Hobbs’ inauguration is set for January 5, according to the Gov.-elect’s website.